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  • Annuals, perennials and bulbs
Monarch on milkweed
Photo: Jardin botanique de Montréal (Claude Lafond)
Monarch on milkweed



Origin and description

Bloodflower is a perennial plant native to the American tropics. Because it is not hardy at our latitudes, it is usually grown as an annual. It can be brought indoors in autumn, though, and kept as a houseplant.

Height: 70 to 100 cm
Spread: 30 to 45 cm
Blooms: reddish-orange and yellow, July to September
Attractiveness to wildlife: host and nectar plant for monarch butterflies 

Common name


Latin name (genus)

Asclepias curassavica

English common name

French common name

Botanical family

  • Apocynaceae

Growing conditions


Plant outdoors or take containers outdoors once temperatures are consistently above 10°C. It is important to acclimatize these plants when moving them outdoors.

Exposure: full sun or part shade  
Soil type: prefers rich, slightly moist, well-drained soil

In autumn, bring the plant indoors once nighttime temperatures drop to about 10 to 12°C. Cut the stems back by two-thirds.


When grown indoors, the plant must be placed in a very well-lit or even sunny spot, with temperatures always above 15°C. Allow the soil to dry out at the surface before watering abundantly. Always remove any water standing in the saucer under the pot.

During the growth period, fertilize with balanced plant food (1-1-1 ratio) according to the recommendations on the label.

Starting from seed

Bloodflower seeds do not require any cold treatment in order to germinate. They can be sown indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last spring frost date. Soak the seeds in water for 24 hours to promote germination.


Milkweed sap contains toxic substances. Keep the plant out of the reach of young children. Some people with sensitive skin can also react to contact with this sap. If it does occur, wash your hands and avoid rubbing your eyes

See also

Pests and diseases
Physiological disorders

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